[PHOTO AT LEFT - CamSur Gov. LRay Villafuerte and wife Lara]

MANILA, JUNE 15, 2009 (STAR) THE PEPPER MILL By Pepper Teehankee - Camarines Sur recently celebrated the weeklong Kaogma Festival, where a series of events was lined up. CamSur Gov. LRay Villafuerte (who recently turned 41), together with beautiful wife Lara and children Miguel, Julio, Gaby and Luigi, hosted a fabulous party for People Asia magazine. Everyone arrived in their chic resort wear at the venue, which was wonderfully decorated with flowers by Zenas Pineda. Guests enjoyed R&B music from singer Jay-R and his band Flow. Eric Pe Benito made sure that only the best were in store for the guests. Florabel Co of the famous Felix and Florabel restaurants was flown in to provide food for the party. Guests feasted on sumptuous offerings especially prepared for the night — a fusion of Bicolano cuisine with Florabel’s signature dishes like GenSan tuna sashimi and Australian red and white wines. Veuve Cliquot champagnes and Peach Bellini’s drinks were free flowing the whole night.

Seen enjoying the party were the People Asia team, led by editor-in-chief Joanne Rae Ramirez, Weber Shandwick’s Mike Toledo, Thai Airways GM Nivat Chantarachoti, Rhoda Aldanese of Rustan’s and husband Vince, Rep. Ruffy and Trina Biazon, Donnie Ramirez and TV personalities Phoemela Barranda, Bubbles Paraiso and Krissa Mae Arrieta.

Capturing the essence of Cloudy Bay

Moet-Hennessy Asia Pacific, in partnership with the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and Paparazzi, Edsa Shangri-La Hotel, showcased the best offering from New Zealand — from its fruits, dairies, seafood and meat products to its iconic wine Cloudy Bay.

New Zealand Ambassador Andrew Matheson was very passionate about the dinner as he emphasized what New Zealand had to offer in terms of its produce like kiwi fruit, mussels, lamb, jumbo scallops, cheese and wines.

We started our dinner with seared jumbo scallops in prosciutto, bay of plenty kiwi compote paired with Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2007. Cloudy Bay brand ambassador Arnaud Mirey gave us a few tidbits of what wines we were savoring for the night. We tasted the Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc 2007 and the Cloudy Bay Te Koko (“Cloudy Bay” in Maori) Sauvignon Blanc 2006, vinified and aged in oak barrels and paired with the truffle hawke’s bay pumpkin soup. The third course was fragrant steamed Marlborough mussels resting on a bed of limoncello risotto paired with Cloudy Bay Chardonnay 2005. Both the Cloudy Bay Pinot Noir 2003 and 2006 were paired with roasted New Zealand lamb racks with chorizo ragout. Colby and Gouda cheese and a warm sticky date and ginger pudding with caramel rum ice cream were served on the table as Cloudy Bay Late Harvest Riesling 2004 was savored by the guests.

Edsa Shangri-La’s F&B director Eddy Sarton and the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise indeed orchestrated a fantastic wine pairing dinner.

They all came to the Ateneo Law homecoming dinner

Members of the Ateneo Law School Class ‘85 hosted a party in honor of the graduates of Class ‘69 at the Hidalgo towers in Rockwell, Makati City. This was one of the several events leading to the main event. Other related events included a mini reunion at Carrera Café in the PGA Building in Mandaluyong both in February and March for the benefit of Class ‘59 (golden) and Class ‘84 (silver) respectively, a thank you dinner party hosted by Batches ‘59 and ‘85 at the residence of lawyer Antero Sison and a Mass and lunch gathering hosted by Batch ‘84 and ‘85 at the residence of lawyer Lila Quirino.

The main event is the Ateneo alumni homecoming dinner to be held at the Dusit Thani Hotel on June 26 at 6 p.m. Honorees for this event are the graduates from Classes ‘59, ‘69 and ‘84. This will be a fundraising dinner for free legal aid and scholarships.

(For tickets and other information, please contact Cecille at 0918-8156394.)

An evening of music

Polish soprano Anna Stolarczyk and French pianist Solveig Breger are set to perform on June 16 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Little Theater (Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino) at 7:30 p.m. and will feature much loved excerpts such as from Giuseppe Verdi’s La Traviata and Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme.

Anna Stolarczyk was born in 1980 in the South of Poland and began her vocal training at 18 with Ewa Kowalczyk at the Krakow Conservatory. In 2001, she successfully gained a place in the professional section of the Krakow National Conservatory. In April 2006, she joined the Ensemble Vocal de Lausanne where she participated in projects and tours in Europe and the world and enriched her artistic experience under the direction of Michel Corboz.

Solveig Breger was born in Tours, France and began studying piano at the age of eight at the Music Conservatory of her native town. In 1995, she moved to Paris where she studied with Jacqueline Bourgès-Maunoury, Marie-Paule Siruguet  and Gérard Frémy. She holds an Excellency Piano as well as a Chamber Music Prize and was admitted in 2000 at the Music Conservatory of Geneva where she studied under Sebastien Risler. In 2004, she received her Teacher’s Diploma and two years later, her Concert Diploma. Organized as a benefit concert for the scholarship grants program of the Chief Justice Claudio Teehankee Library and Center for the Rule of Law, tickets can be purchased through Ticketworld or at the CCP Box Office.


Tirta Spa: Sanctuary for the senses

This year marks the second year of Tirta Spa, Boracay. It has recently won its first two coveted spa industry awards — a considerable achievement for such a young business.

The first award was for “Most Outstanding Health and Beauty Spa in the Philippines,” from the Consumers Union of the Philippines. At the Asia Spa & Wellness Festival 2009 in Bangkok, Thailand, Tirta Spa won the prestigious award for “Best Day Spa.” The festival is an annual two-day convention, culminating in a gala awards dinner, organized by Asia Spa & Wellness Festival, Malaysia, one of the largest spa and wellness organizations in Asia.

Tirta Spa owner and spa director En Calvert mentioned that Tirta Spa has also recently been short listed for “Spectacular Spas — Asia Pacific 2009/2010,” by the renowned Asia Spa Institute in Singapore.

Tirta Spa regularly receives visits from spa experts and consultants from around the world, who continue to be amazed by both the architecture and the tranquil, temple-like environment that has been created. Calvert stresses that these awards are a credit to her beloved country — a country which, five years ago, had no spa industry to speak of but that now has spas that are being recognized and ranked amongst the best in the world. The Philippines has finally earned its rightful place on the global wellness map.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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